Tours to Uruguay - Decidedly European and exceedingly socially developed, Uruguay is home to more than three million citizens of primarily Southern European descent while also staking claim to the title of second smallest South American country.
Although literally not large in stature, Uruguay more than makes up for its small size with its beach-lined coasts, verdant interior and generally high world rankings on democracy, personal rights and quality of living. So much so the Economist named it Country of the Year in 2013.
Before winning its independence in the early 1800s, Uruguay had been subject to competing claims for its lands. In fact, it continued to be subjected to foreign intervention well into the 19th century; however, despite its rocky political past, this small coastal country has managed to retain its cultural traditions, including those of the gaucho, asado, the tango and their national drink mate—all of which are shared with their neighbor across the channel, Argentina.
There are a number of intriguing destinations to explore in Uruguay, beginning just up the Rio de la Plata at the best kept secret in country— Carmelo. This one-time pueblo is a charming and laid-back region that has retained its Colonial roots and seamlessly blends recreation and wine culture with historic architecture. Just down river, you’ll find Colonia del Sacramento, a UNESCO World Heritage Site favored by the jet set for its exciting and eclectic nature, delicate textiles, funky shopping and lovely harbor. Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo lies farther south still where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. Montevideo is a vibrant and eclectic metropolis, located directly across from Argentina’s Buenos Aires, with an entrepreneurial spirit and thriving tech community.
Up the Atlantic Coast, there are several beach communities that come alive during high season. First, is Punta del Este, where A-listers descend on its scenic shores and sandy beaches for only two weeks each January to rub elbows with revelers at all-night parties. During the rest of the year, it’s a seaside hamlet where you can chill out and unwind in relative peace and quiet. There is no shortage of activities here, from culinary and recreational to shopping and cultural. A bit farther south, and you’ll find Jose Ignacio (sometimes called “The Hamptons of Uruguay”). Once a quiet fishing village, Jose Ignacio is a slow-paced Bohemian affair and arguably the most stylish spot in Latin America. If you’re looking for a truly remote beachfront hideaway, Rocha is perhaps the most magical and least visited of all Uruguay’s shores. Located on the southern tip of Uruguay, Rocha is both a city and department filled with wandering streams, rolling hillsides, hidden beaches and working ranches. Once you’ve had a taste of the Uruguayan beach experience, head to the sparsely populated interior department of Garzon, where this sleepy Colonial village will intrigue you with its culinary delights, high-end winery and abundant local artisans and shops.
Discover a little bit of Europe with decidedly Latin American flair in Uruguay.
Call our trip designers at 800.772.9188 to explore our suggested Uruguay tours today, and begin personalizing your extraordinary journey to Uruguay with our private guides in private cars.
Good to Know
Not required for U.S. citizens staying less than 3 months
Must be valid at time of entry
Uruguayan Peso (UYU)
None, but check with your doctor for recommendations
- Colonia de Sacramento
- Jose Ignacio
- Punta del Este